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Loving intensely but with boundaries- one artist’s thoughts

“Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge.  You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. There is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. And there is the love that will be ready. “Nayyirah Waheed 

Most of us want to be loved by someone. Because of this, we often put up with things we don’t like. We settle. We overlook it when our partner is dismissive of our needs, doesn’t have time for us, won’t make us a priority, or even when they are abusive. We do this because, sometimes, it’s beautiful. Sometimes they are loving and make us feel that we are their everything. Sometimes, they make our heart sing. We like it in that moment so we deal with all of the other moments that hurt and cause confusion. 

Listen, it will be ok if you walk away. There will be other loves if you don’t give up. 

“No. Don’t never go looking for love girl. Just wait. It’ll come. Like the rain fallin’ from the heaven, it’ll come. Just don’t never give up on love.”-Sonia Sanchez

I was listening to a song the other day by R.LUM.R called Frustrated that made me think of this tendency we have to stay even though we are unhappy. 

” Here I go talking ’bout the same thing In and out as quick as you can fade away It don’t matter what I say if you want me to chain you to the sky, oh my You give me your kaleidoscope in monochrome So unlike the way you color me at home Some days it’s so vividBut mostly I would rather be blind…I’m frustrated, over youFrustrated, I’m a fool”

Check that line- “You give me your kaleidoscope in monochrome.” Some of our best poets are songwriters. That’s beautiful and so real at the same time. Many people have so much to offer a lover and we stay because we see that in them. We feel their love- sometimes. We see their potential. But is that really enough?

As a poet/photographer, I think those of us who are artists feel this way even more so. We are told we are too romantic, expect too much, too sensitive, as though our standards/desires are unreasonable. But that’s the artist’s way isn’t it? Feeling deeply. Loving hard. Caring “too” much. However, that sensitivity is part of what makes me a good poet.

“but you are always too intensefrightening in the way you want him unashamed and sacrificial he tells you that no man can live up to the one who lives in your head and you tried to change didn’t you? closed your mouth more tried to be softer prettierless volatile, less awake” –Warsan Shire

The world needs you and your deep feelings. Love is the foundation and beginning of everything from children to revolution and art is one of the most beautiful ways of expressing that love.

What would we be without artists and their ability to feel intensely? The world needs people who feel deeply and see the world in the unique way that artists do. People like Maxwell who says,

“Oh you played me dirty, your game was so bad You toyed with my affliction Had to fill out my prescription Found the remedy, I had to set you free Away from me To see clearly the way that love can be When you are not with me I had to live, I had to live I had to leave, I had to leave”

Or Erykah Badu who sings out “I’m a recovering undercover over-lover. Recovering from a love I can’t get over…And I’d lie for you/ I’d cry for you/ and pop for you/ and break for you/ and hate for you/ And I’ll hate you too/  If you want me too “

Shakespeare who poetically explains that “Love is a smoke and is made with the fumes of sighs.”

D’Angelo who shares “Ooh wee…baby, you’ve redefined my vision of love it seems/ Your love be da cherry in my chocolate covered dreams.”

These aren’t scientific explanations of love and feeling. They are expressions of art. 

And I feel Al Green when he declares “If I gave you my love, I tell you what I’d do. I’d expect a whole lot of love out of you.”

It’s ok for us to feel deeply. I think it’s part of what makes us better artists. And it is ok to wait for the person who will love you deeply too.


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